Inside of a Church

DECOLONIZING CHRISTIANITY

by Bryana Clover, Owner 1619 Consulting and Claire Cox-Woodlief, Owner CCW Transformation Ministries

A unique partnership and friendship​​

  • A combination of 61 years of membership and/or working in the United Methodist Church.

  • The perspectives and experiences of a white woman and a Black woman, who grew up very differently, but have grown equally passionate and focused on equipping churches and other organizations to do the hard and necessary work of anti-racism.

Claire Cox-Woodlief

Owner and CEO of CCW Transformation Ministries LLC

  • Over 17 years experience working with clergy and laity in churches and faith-based institutions

  • Over 5 years experience in leadership in a variety of anti-racism initiatives in local church, district and conference in the NC Conference of the UMC

  • After completion of a 12-month intensive study and passing vetting exam, certified as a Sacred Conversations to End Racism Facilitator through United Church of Christ.

  • Equipped and skilled Conflict Transformation Minister, Spiritual Director and Retreat Leader.

  • Living out a call to be involved in work that leads to racial healing and the fruition of the Beloved Community.

Bryana Clover

Owner and CEO of 1619 Consulting LLC

  • Over 35 years lived experience worshipping (and eventually working) in predominately white spaces as a bi-racial/Black cis-gender female.

  • Over 12 years of Corporate Leadership experience (in Agribusiness)

  • Familiar and connected with the UMC (grew up in the UMC church, and currently serve UMC clients in anti-racism work).

  • Passionate about racial justice, and the unlearning and introspection required for the life-long journey of anti-racism.

  • Current student in UNC Charlotte’s Masters Certificate program: Anti-racism in Urban Education; and enrolled in 12-month facilitation training for Sacred Conversations to End Racism.

As facilitators of Sacred Conversations to End Racism, "we seek to restore humanity, correct myths, eliminate stereotypes, decenter whiteness as a social construct, celebrate all cultures, and engage in deep truth-telling about the fabricated hierarchies of skin colors that became the basis for identifying humans into races."

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OUR OFFERINGS

KNOWLEDGE

Workshop Package

  1. ​Engaging Constructively in Brave Conversations about Race

  2. The Myth of Race & Deconstructing the Myth of Whiteness

  3. Race & Christianity (Decolonizing Christianity)

  4. The Psychology of Racism: Understanding Privilege, Implicit Bias, White Fragility and Microaggressions

  5. Exploring Intersectionality

  6. Putting it all Together + Restorative Healing and Self-Care

While the above courses cover the main topics required for increasing one's race-consciousness, we do offer workshops that are personalized to the needs of the organization. We recommend starting with IDI and REDI assessments (Introspection), which help determine the potential organizational blindspots and training needs.

INTROSPECTION

Assessments

  • The Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) assesses intercultural competence- the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. This assessment provides valuable information about your mindset and helps you gain valuable insights about how you engage cultural differences by reflecting on both past and current cross-cultural events or situations you have been or are involved in. Your IDI profile results can help you increase your own cultural self-and other-understanding around such differences and commonalities. 

  • The Racial Equity Assessment (REDI) is a tool to evaluate racial/DEI biases in the workplace environment, and will offer an understanding of the organizational level of awareness and knowledge on racial equity culture. Designed by an experienced PhD researcher skilled in literature reviews, scientific writing and program development/evaluation, the assessment is adapted from several surveys measuring proxies of race-based discrimination, diversity and inclusion and equity in work settings. Results are reported in a REDI continuum-format, with suggested areas to target/develop based on a final REDI score. This assessment can be used as a baseline and taken multiple times to measure progress of racial equity goals. (For organizations over 20 people)

ACTION
Facilitation and Consultation
  • Certified to guide individuals and organizational leaders to build and live into an anti-racist and culturally competency development plan.

  • Equipping Conference, District and other assemblies of faith Dismantling Racism Teams.

  • Facilitating events, movie and documentary screenings, book studies and advocacy opportunities for local churches or other organizations.

North Carolina Institute for Spiritual Direction and Formation

 

Claire is the Co-Director for the North Carolina Institute for Spiritual Direction and Formation, and Bryana is part of their leadership team. Claire and Bryana believe that as people of faith grow closer to God through spiritually formative and contemplative practices, we become aware of our call to become repairers of the breach, confronting barriers that divide us.

  • The NCISDF is a Christocentric organization that honors people of all faiths and creeds. Our community is unified in recognizing that each human being is created in the image of God, and by the desire to deepen our relationship with God through the instruction of the Holy Spirit. As disciples of Jesus, we are committed to gracious soul hospitality and to the development of “Beloved Community”- a place where all are welcome to wrestle with faith and dare greatly on their journey of human becoming and spiritual transformation. We take seriously the commandment of Jesus to love one another as he first loved us. As such, we are committed to fostering an environment that offers humble listening, non-judgmental conversations, and compassionate engagement. We celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness made possible in loving community. We welcome and affirm all people. 

"Your ancient ruins shall by rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in." (Isaiah 58:12)

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EXAMPLES OF OUR WORK

Community Events

  • Racial Taboo

  • Wilmington on Fire

  • Gerrymandering

  • International Civil Rights Museum

Book Studies

  • White Fragility

  • The Racial Healing Handbook

  • America's Original Sin

  • The New Jim Crow

Assessments

  • Local UMC w/ four campuses

  • NC Council of Churches

  • Board of Ordained Ministry- 2 different UMC conferences

  • Leadership Fellows, Center for Leadership Excellence, NCCUMC

  • NC Institute for Spiritual Direction and Formation

Facilitation & Training

  • Local UMC w/ four campuses

  • Race, Racism and America presentations to Corporate audiences

  • Race Equity in Leadership presentations to Non-profit audiences

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